Yellow Spring

We can always tell when Spring has “officially” arrived at our home. The Washington State bird calls out the arrival. The Willow Goldfinch or American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) is a bright yellow bird that was legislatively declared the winner of official state bird in 1951 after 30 years of debates.

Male Goldfinch

Female Goldfinch

The Goldfinch was selected over another spring bird the Western Tanager.

Male Western Tanager

As these birds arrive in our yard we know that the season has changed from winter’s last grasp to the warming arms of spring. The bright flecks of yellow in the yard is why we view it a “yellow spring.”

Male Goldfinch faces the setting sun



Birds on Ice…

A day without power after eight inches of snow followed by a few hours of freezing rain hardening all the heavy snow. Then a few hours more of snow followed. Now they are telling us to prepare for the wind and floods. I think the only items missing on their list are a heat wave and the ten plagues.

Ice Covered Car

With the Blackberry dead it was time to continue practicing my photography on the birds that would visit my little forest area. Sitting under one of the large cedar trees in my yard was not in the cards this time. All the trees were bowing to the ground under the weight of the ice. Oh, I could have sat in the usual spot. I would have been hidden so well that I would not have seen the birds. But the birds did not mind my sitting in the open as the food was plenty and they were madly dancing around the feeders. I had to twice scrap off the feeders just so the birds could get to the seeds.

Ice Covered Tree

Golden-Crowned Sparrow

Male Downy Woodpecker

Black-Capped Chickadee

Female Red-Shafted Northern Flicker

Female Anna's Hummingbird

Female Varied Thrush

Then came visitors we usually do not see until the spring. I guess they did get the message for a warming trend. I do not think the news meant spring though.

Male Evening Grosbeak